Over $42M in PPP went local

This pie chart shows how many Monroe County businesses received Paycheck Protection Program loans for various ranges. 

The Small Business Administration released the most detailed data to date about the Paycheck Protection Program last week.

According to that data, which covers millions of loans from the PPP and Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, 680 businesses and nonprofits received PPP funds in Monroe County. 

Those loans totaled $42,812,048.68 and helped protect a reported 5,952 local jobs.

The new data, which the government released after being ordered to do so by the judge in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by 11 media organizations, includes the names of all entities that received loans through the pandemic relief program and the exact loan amounts those entities received. 

In July, the SBA released loan-level data for almost 75 percent of its loans, but it did not include names or addresses for those entities that got under $150,000 and only included ranges for loans over that amount. 

The Republic-Times wrote then about the 57 businesses in Monroe County that received over $150,000 because they were the only ones with any identifying information. 

Of the 680 local entities, 310 were located in Waterloo, 326 were in Columbia, 23 were in Valmeyer, 15 were in the Fults zip code and six were in Hecker. 

Many of the PPP loans are forgivable, provided at least 75 percent of the funds were used to keep employees on payroll for at least eight weeks. The money can also be used for expenses like rent, utilities and loan payments. 

The program has been credited with saving many jobs and businesses in the early months of the pandemic. 

The new data did not shed much new light on the largest local recipients of the loans. 

Monroe County businesses that received over $1 million were First Class Workforce Solutions, Budnick Converting and George Weber Chevrolet, all in Columbia, and MAR Graphics in Valmeyer. Those companies reported the money would help protect the jobs of 307, 109, 100 and 81 employees, respectively. 

The latest numbers do show the exact amount each of those businesses received. 

First Class Workforce Solutions got over $2.5 million, Budnick Converting got almost $1.3 million, George Weber Chevrolet received nearly $1.3 million and MAR Graphics got just more than $1 million.

Most of the new information is about smaller employers, most of whom received less than $150,000. 

A total of 619 entities got loans under that amount, including 34 that received loans over $100,000 and 85 that received loans under $5,000. 

Of the companies and organizations that got loans over $100,000, the largest loan in Waterloo was for $143,092 and went to Garden Place Senior Living, while the loan with the highest dollar amount in Columbia was for $148,032.44 to Columbia Kinder College. 

Likewise, Daytime Discoveries received the biggest loan in Valmeyer at $62,700, Mueller Contracting got the largest loan in the Fults zip code at $81,710 and Nu-Deal Oil Company in Hecker got the most substantial loan in that village at $60,595. 

For the smallest loans, those under $5,000, there were 44 recipients in Waterloo, 37 in Columbia, three in Valmeyer and two in Hecker. 

The two smallest loans in the county went to a woman named Laurie Conrad, who listed herself as an independent contractor, and B.A. LLC. Those businesses, both of which are located in Columbia and reported one employee, got $722 and $905, respectively. 

In terms of jobs protected, the largest employers were those previously reported on. 

In addition to the large loan recipients already mentioned, Burris Management in Waterloo reported 215 employees, Ace Hardware in Columbia listed 181 jobs and Human Support Services in Waterloo reported 109 jobs.

The vast majority of loans, though, went to the smallest of employers in Monroe County. 

Nearly 69 percent of loans went to 467 entities that reported five or fewer jobs would be protected by the funds. 

That includes 210 entities that reported one job, 82 that reported two, 51 that reported three, 41 that reported four and 35 that reported five. 

It also includes 48 businesses or nonprofits that reported zero jobs. 

While it has earned praise, the PPP has also come under fire with accusations of mismanagement and questionable distribution. 

For example, the Department of Justice has charged 57 people with trying to steal $175 million from the program, at least $80 million of which the DOJ reported as a loss to the government. 

The Republic-Times will investigate any irregularities with Monroe Countyโ€™s data and report on those in future issues of the paper. 

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James Moss

James is an alumni of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where he graduated summa cum laude with degrees in mass communications and applied communications studies. While in school, he interned at two newspapers and worked at a local grocery store to pay for his education. When not working for the Republic-Times, he enjoys watching movies, reading, playing video games and spending time with his friends.
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